Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Net Detective, a people search service of HD Publishing, has been providing information to consumers since 1996. The database for its standard search product browses more than 1.1 billion records, and its consumer data and Law Enforcement Edition subscriptions offer access to more than 3 billion searchable records. Net detective is also one of the few services that can now provide cell phone numbers as well as landline numbers.
The Net Detective standard people search subscription can provide basic information such as addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and PO Box numbers. You can also verify whether social security numbers are valid and find out in which state they were administered. To get more detailed information, such as estimated income, marital status or home ownership information, you must upgrade to the premium subscription. From there, you can access databases that contain that type of information.
Though this service does not provide all of the search options that other people search services do, its services are very inexpensive. The premium subscription version is also offered at a comparably low rate. Unfortunately, this service does not offer a free preview; you have to pay the subscription price to perform your first search.
The type of information you can obtain varies depending on which subscription you purchase and what state you are trying to retrieve information from. All states have different laws pertaining to public information, and you can only see the information that each state makes public. For example, some states will not publish sex offender information on minors. However, Net Detective people search can help you search the information that is available faster than you could do on your own.
Net Detective offers a variety of people search options, and the standard subscription can help you find basic information about a person or a business. You can find consumer, criminal and sex offender statuses. Data searches offer access to information such as a person's address history, aliases, estimated income, marital status and home ownership status. The criminal data check can provide you with access to more than 450 million criminal records that include a physical description, aliases, offense description and more, depending on the state. The sex offender search includes access to 500,000 records that include information such as offense date and location, sentencing information and basic information such as birth date, ethnicity, eye color and so on.
Some of the advanced people searches include unclaimed money, information from the U.S. Social Security Death Index, professional records, email search, SBA loans, government contracts, background reports, legacy tools and neighbor search.
The standard version of Net Detective let us search by name or partial name, age, birth date, address and phone number. The phone number search option can search landline and cell phone numbers. Advanced search options include email addresses. With the standard subscription, you also get a few extra search options, including Search Unclaimed Money, Obtain FBI Files, Credit Reports for yourself and Sex Offender Search. You cannot search by social security number, but you can verify the validity of an associated SSN.
Net Detective people search comes with email and telephone support, including Saturday support hours. However, our emails went unreturned for several days. When we called customer service, we were simply referred to the website by an automated message. No live representatives were available. This people search service posts a variety of articles, such as "How to Find Unlisted Numbers," "Obtaining and Understanding Your FBI Report" and "Identity Theft Information." It also posts FAQs and information on how to use its service, but these are incomplete and not very helpful.
The Net Detective people search service can provide unlimited access to more than a billion records for a low three-year subscription price. However, we think that most users would be more pleased with the additional detailed information provided with the company's upgraded services, which are also reasonably priced. The lack of help options, individual report pricing and free previews are significant detriments to using this service.